Tags: Religion | crucifix | montreal | quebec | secular

Crucifix in Montreal City Hall Being Removed to Restore 'Secular Character'

a man stares up at a wooden cross in montreal.
A man holds a crucifix as he participates in the Way of the Cross on Good Friday in Montreal, Friday April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

By    |   Monday, 25 March 2019 05:50 PM

A crucifix displayed since 1937 in Montreal’s City Hall council chambers will reportedly be removed in preparation for renovations next month — and won’t be returned.

“We were going to take the crucifix down during the renovations anyways, so we asked ourselves if we were going to put it back up, and we decided that we won’t,” city councillor Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, who oversees democratic institutions in Canada’s second-largest city, told the Guardian

“The context in which it was placed there no longer applies. We need to reaffirm the secular character of the chamber.”

The crucifix will instead be on display in a museum area once the newly renovated city hall reopens in 2022, the Guardian reported.

The decision comes as Canada's heavily Catholic Quebec province works to balance its religious past and secular present, and as Canada debates the issue of displays of religious faith, such as wearing a Muslim hijab, while employed in government business.

The cross was bought for $25 and installed in the council chambers at the direction of city Alderman Joseph-Emile Dubreil, the Guardian noted. It’s similar to a 1936 crucifix hanging in the province's National Assembly.

According to the Guardian, however, no sooner had Montreal announced the removal of its city hall crucifix, the Quebec premier, François Legault, said he’d be open to doing the same thing in Quebec’s National Assembly.

The province has seen a waning of the Catholic Church's influence since the 1960s, though Montreal's most prominent landmark remains an illuminated cross, 101 feet in height, atop Mont Royal, the city's highest point, the news outlet noted.

"The decision is a recognition of the role of secularism in the institution, and for me, there is a stark distinction between individual and institutional secularism," Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told the news outlet.

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A crucifix displayed since 1937 in Montreal's City Hall council chambers will reportedly be removed in preparation for renovations next month - and won't be returned."We were going to take the crucifix down during the renovations anyways, so we asked ourselves if we were...
crucifix, montreal, quebec, secular
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2019-50-25
Monday, 25 March 2019 05:50 PM
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